Cheeseless Lasagna

Looks pretty good, huh?!  Looks like a lasagna?!  It is lasagna and it is delicious!  Even better- it is dairy and soy free!

(This is a dish I was really excited and made while I still was able to eat beans and milk substitutes.  I have been meaning to add it here for a long time.  With all the cooking I do and caring for my two little cuties, the time just flies.  So although I can’t currently eat it because of the beans, I highly recommend it if you are looking for a dairy free lasagna.)

After we found out we had food protein issues, I found the blog MSPI Mama, an amazing site for those who need to live dairy and soy free.  There are resources, recipes and a quick start guide for people new to the dairy/soy free life, which is very helpful.  (Although the author’s family can have soy oil/lecithin, we cannot, so I make sure to read recipes carefully and choose things that work for us.)

I was really excited to see a cheeseless lasagna in the list of recipes.  We used to eat a lot of Italian food before we went dairy/soy free and both my husband and I really missed lasagna.  Lasagna is one of my husband’s favorite foods and I love how lasagna makes a hearty dinner with plenty of leftovers.   I hadn’t attempted a cheese free lasagna myself because I hadn’t come up with a good cheese substitute (I really don’t care for Daiya cheese, the only fake cheese we could eat).  This recipe from MSPI Mama brilliantly uses cannellini beans with eggs and spices as a ricotta replacement and a white sauce made with rice milk to create that creamy goodness that cheese would bring to the party.

The recipe requires making the meat mixture, the ricotta-like bean mixture and the white sauce for the top. It does take a bit of time and quite a few dishes to prepare, but that is pretty standard for a lasagna.  In my mind lasagna makes so much food that is okay to have one really dish-heavy night.   It also calls for boiling the lasagna noodles but to cut down on prep time I used no-boil noodles and they worked just fine.  I used oat milk in place of the rice milk without a problem.  One other tip is to make sure to follow the directions to let it stand 15 minutes to set up.  Ours was a bit loose that first night, probably because I was so excited to eat it I was impatient and cut it early, but was picture perfect after being in the fridge overnight.

The end result was delicious.  It tasted like a lasagna and I REALLY didn’t miss cheese.  I think the white sauce on top, really made the dish.  My husband liked it to and ate it all week long with me as leftovers, which is a pretty good judge of a dairy free recipe in our house.  Remember this is the man who orders lasagna at every Italian restaurant so I’d say he’s pretty much a lasagna critic.  Also exciting was how nutritious this meal was to serve to my family.   Spinach, beans, no cheese!  I think even if I can go back to eating dairy world again sometime in my life I will bring some of the substitutions in this lasagna with me to make my old cheese filled dishes healthier.

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